ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced that the two-week firearms hunting season for sika and white-tailed deer opened Saturday, Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 12.
New this year, deer hunters may use rifles and handguns that employ straight-walled cartridges in all counties, according to a news release.
Rifles and handguns that use bottleneck cartridges remain limited to those counties that permitted them previously.
More information on that change, along with season bag limits and other deer hunting regulations, can be found in the 2020-2021 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping. The guide is available online at www.eregulations.com/maryland/hunting.
Sunday deer hunting is available in all but three counties for the deer firearms season and remains a critical component to deer population management, in addition to providing recreational opportunities for all resident and visiting hunters, the release states.
“The two-week firearms season remains our most popular season with deer hunters,” DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “It is a long-standing tradition for many of our hunters to get together with family and friends during these two weeks to pursue one of their favorite pastimes. The resulting harvest of approximately 30,000 deer contributes significantly to managing the state’s healthy deer population.”
During firearms season, Maryland requires deer hunters and their companions to wear daylight fluorescent orange or daylight fluorescent pink in one of the following manners: a cap of solid fluorescent daylight orange or pink, a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of fluorescent daylight orange or pink or an outer garment of camouflage daylight fluorescent orange or pink worn above the waist and containing at least 50% daylight fluorescent color.
Hunters are additionally reminded to use precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which includes keeping 6 feet away from anyone who does not reside with you and wearing a facial covering when social distancing isn’t possible.
Hunters should carefully inspect all tree-stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while in the stand and while climbing in or out, the release states.
The DNR strongly recommends using a sliding knot, commonly known as a “prusik knot,” attached to a line that is secured above the stand that allows the hunter to be safely tethered to the tree as soon as they leave the ground.